Though there are fair criticisms of the CDC’s handling of Ebola, by giving into the temptation to point fingers at Obama, Republicans run the risk of reinforcing the idea that any crisis or perceived crisis can be handled if only there were a better person in charge. And this could cut against many of the arguments that conservatives usually make about the inherent problems with federal bureaucracies.
Reacting to criticism of the handling of Ebola, Yuval Levin noted in a post over at National Review, “The attitude is premised on the bizarre assumption that large institutions are hyper-competent by default, so that when they fail we should seek for nefarious causes. Not only liberals (who are at least pretty consistent about making this ridiculous mistake) but also some conservatives who should know better respond with a mix of outrage and disgust to failures of government to contend effortlessly with daunting emergencies. But do we really expect (or even want) our government to have the power and ability to smooth all of life’s edges and be ready in an instant to address the consequences of, say, a major hurricane or massive oil spill or deadly disease outbreak? What do we think that government would be doing with that power the rest of the time?”